Truly Powerful People (409)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

I used to have a guitar named Magnolia. Linda gave her to me a birthday gift and she was immediately one of my treasures. Magnolia was used when I got her, warm and full of story. She felt good to hold and I loved to strum her and imagine that I knew how to play. I imagined who I would be if I could play her. I carried her with me for years. I learned a few chords. I practiced sometimes, learned to stumble through a song or two, and then she’d go back in the case for several months when I went into rehearsal or flew away on a job.

Shortly after I moved to Seattle I knew I had to cut ties with the past and make a fresh start. I knew that Magnolia was never going to get proper attention from me, that I wanted to learn to play but I had on my list other things that always took precedence. I had to choose and my choice was usually the studio to paint or the next play. I knew she’d be happier with a real musician. So, I found a real musician and gave Magnolia to her. She was thrilled (and so was the musician).

I realized that letting go of Magnolia was about letting go of a life that I would never live: an ideal. I had too many other lives calling me (note: I could never bind myself to the mast like Odysseus – when the Sirens call I follow. Were I a Greek I’d have been turned into a goat or a sheep a long time ago. Cyclops would have eaten me for brunch). Magnolia was a Siren from another time, a love long lost, a heartbreak that I carried in a guitar case. And, although I grieved giving her away (seriously – I had to eat alone that night for brooding and hiding my misty eyes) I was almost immediately lighter in spirit. I’d made a choice. She helped me see how many stories and I held with white knuckles and continued to follow halfheartedly. After Magnolia I let go of the weight of so many stories I’d carried like a bag of boulders for so long. Stories can be heavy when filled with false expectation or excessive judgment. Stories, once liberated, will also let go and set you free.

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